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Edward Bawden and His Studio


11th February 2017 - 28th January 2018

Edward Bawden Gallery, Free Entry


Edward Bawden and his Studio, a new exhibition showcasing the work of influential British artist and designer Edward Bawden (1903–1989)


During the eight years prior to his death in 1989, the renowned watercolourist, printmaker, illustrator, designer and former Official War Artist Edward Bawden donated the contents of his studio to Bedford. From the walls of his house, the insides of cupboards and the drawers of his plan chest came adverts for Fortnum & Mason, Ealing Comedy posters, plates for Wedgwood, letters and photographs; an entire life’s work. In his workroom in the attic of Brick House, Great Bardfield, his Essex home for four decades, or later in his plant-filled studio in Saffron Walden, Bawden worked hours ‘that no self-respecting trade unionist would consider, and no shop steward condone for a moment’.  He produced a huge body of work during a long career spanning most of the twentieth century. This new exhibition will focus on Bawden’s life in the studio, through his letters, photographs and most importantly his work.


Bawden often took inspiration from his surroundings and the views from his studio frequently feature in his work. He was also meticulously tidy, and the order and discipline he applied to his designs was equally in evidence in his workroom, with its polished mahogany desk, neatly laid out materials, cherished library of reference books and collection of Victorian artefacts. Walls were decorated and hung with Bawden’s own wallpaper designs, lino blocks and prints.


The exhibition charts the development of Bawden's career chronologically, looking closely at his inspirations, obsessions and recurring themes. These include cats, creatures, and Kew Gardens. The exhibition also shows the variety of techniques and different mediums that Bawden used. Bawden’s playful, humorous style combined with his diligent approach will delight newcomers to his work as well as existing fans seeking a more personal insight into the man and his work.